It was the last family portrait session of 2013. I was meeting up with a new family whom I was looking forward to photographing at Crissy Field. You really can't go wrong when the Golden Gate Bridge is your backdrop! You really can't go wrong... except it happened to be one of the coldest days of the year here in the Bay Area. The New Yorker in me rolls eyes/laughs at myself because I've definitely turned into a typical Californian who is freezing when it drops below 50 degrees (I can practically see the evil glares from all of my East Coast family and friends reading this right now).
We wanted to have some photos without everyone all bundled up in their jackets, but it wasn't very comfortable for too long, especially for the youngest daughter. Her little toes and fingers were getting so cold that she started to cry and said she wanted to go home.
Not only did I feel terrible that the cold was making her so uncomfortable that she started crying, but the fact that she wasn't enjoying the photo session at all by this point made me realize I had to think quick and come up with a way to warm her up and calm her down. Photo sessions with Lori Fuller Photography are all about having Fun! and I was determined to make sure I saw her smiling again.
What better way to do so than sipping hot chocolate inside the aptly named Warming Hut, located at Crissy Field. Almost immediately, her smile returned, her gorgeous blue eyes sparkled and we created some fabulous images right inside that little cafe/gift shop!
After everyone warmed up and chocolate mustaches were wiped away, we went back out for just a few more minutes to capture some images on the beach. I caught this one of my youngest client still holding tightly onto her hot chocolate, wind blowing her hair wildly in every direction...but not having a care in the world about the cold anymore.
This day made me realize that things don't always go as planned...but what you make of the situation is really all that matters.
I am trying to remind myself of these words every time things haven't gone as planned in my own life. Recently, it feels like a lot of curveballs are being thrown at my family, but whenever I start to feel down and out about everything happening, I try to think about ways I can take charge of the situation; what can I do in each particular moment to help myself - and my family - get through this challenge? Sometimes, it's as easy as being fully present and accepting of the issue at hand and put my focus and attention right where it needs to be. My hot chocolate might end up being a glass of red wine, but I'm working hard to make the best of each situation and (hopefully) be a better person for it.